Some George Mason University faculty are protesting the Northern Virginia institution’s plan to rename its law school for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the behest of a $20 million donor, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal write.
The university’s faculty senate is weighing whether to take a formal stand against the proposal, which has cast a spotlight on George Mason’s emergence as a center for conservative legal and economic scholarship with financial backing from billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Charles Koch gave $10 million to Mason last month at the same time as the anonymous contributor who sought the Scalia honor.
Critics, notably social sciences and humanities professors but also including some law-school students and alumni, contend that naming the school for Mr. Scalia, a leader of the court’s conservative wing who took controversial stands on race and gender issues, is inappropriate for a public university. The change, which would have to be approved by a state higher-education board, is largely backed by faculty at the now-named Antonin Scalia Law School.